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Tenancy evictions – guidance for landlords

11 January 2021 Litigation Jane McNicol

Evicting tenants from residential properties can often prove tricky and even more so in the current climate.

The Scottish Government has asked all landlords not to evict a tenant because of the financial hardship caused Covid-19 restrictions and to be flexible with tenants throughout the pandemic. To enforce this, the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 extends the notice that landlords require to give tenants in Scotland before eviction can be sought.

However, a ban on evictions has not been implemented and it is still possible for landlords to serve notices and apply for orders to recover possession. It can be a lengthier process therefore private landlords should take action now if they wish to end a tenancy agreement with their current tenants.

In most cases landlords will now need to give tenants 6 months' notice, unless they are ending the tenancy for particular reasons, for example:

  • if the landlord or their family need to move into the property the notice period is reduced to 3 months,
  • if reasons include antisocial and criminal behaviour by the tenant, then 3 months’ notice is required, and
  • if the tenant has left the property empty without giving notice to the landlord, then only one month’s notice is required to then apply to regain possession of the property.

The First Tier Tribunal (Housing and Property Chamber), which is the tribunal in Scotland that deals with evictions and matters regarding residential tenancy in private sector housing, was unable to hold any hearings during the first three months of the lockdown restrictions which lead to delays in applications being dealt with. However our experience is that the Tribunal is now processing applications close to its pre-Covid-19 time scales. Hearings before the Tribunal are up and running again, and the sooner a landlord takes official action through the Tribunal, the sooner they will be able to evict their tenant.

Our expert team of Litigation solicitors have a wealth of experience advising and assisting private landlords and letting agents with eviction notices and recovering unpaid rent. Please get in touch if you require any assistance.

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